Is Amazon Prime Worth It?

“Is Amazon Prime worth it?” That is a question we hear from users who are considering buying Amazon Prime and from people who already pay Amazon for the service and are close to renewing the service. We’ll help you decide if Amazon Prime is worth buying based on how much you buy and the other services that are included with Prime.

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Amazon Prime is $99 for a one year subscription and it includes free two-day shipping on a wide-range of items and the option to upgrade to faster shipping at a discount. One of the easiest ways to see if Amazon Prime is worth it is to see how much you save in shipments.

With the latest Amazon Prime 20% off games deals and the many services that can replace Netflix, Spotify and back up all of your photos there are other details that you need to consider.

Is Amazon Prime worth it? Here's what you need to know. Julie Clopper / Shutterstock.com

Is Amazon Prime worth it? Here’s what you need to know. Julie Clopper / Shutterstock.com

While we enjoy all of these features, the free two-day shipping on millions of items is still the primary draw for most of our team, and for many users.

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Use this guide to figure out how much you pay per shipment with Amazon Prime and then factor in the value of the other Amazon Prime services to see if it is worth buying Amazon Prime or renewing Amazon Prime.

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Is Amazon Prime Worth It

Amazon Prime is $99 a year, although you can occasionally find a deal that offers Prime for $73 a year. It is possible to get a free Amazon Prime trial for 30 days, and it is possible to share Amazon Prime with other members of your household.

The fastest way to see if you save on Amazon Prime is to look at the number of shipments you received from Amazon last year and see if you ended up paying more or less than if you paid for two-day shipping on each order.

Use this link to see how many Amazon orders you placed in the last year. The number should be in the upper left of the screen. You can choose a different time period if your buying habits changed recently.

Enter that number in the calculator below and you will see how much you paid per shipment. In our example we bought 24 shipments from Amazon, paying $4.13 per shipment. This is more than if we did not have Amazon Prime.

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This number alone cannot tell you if Amazon Prime is worth it, but it will help you figure out how much you need to value the other Amazon Prime services, which is why we start with it.

It also doesn’t factor in how much you spend paying for upgraded overnight shipping. The cost of shipping without Prime may be higher for some items, so this is only a starting point.

Amazon Prime Benefits

There are a lot of Amazon Prime benefits that can help add value to the $99 subscription fee. Here is a breakdown of what you get with Amazon Prime in addition to free two-day shipping, and here is a closer look at what each of these Amazon Prime services offers.

  • Prime Video
  • Prime Music
  • Prime Photos
  • Kindle Owners’ Lending Library
  • 20% off Video Games
  • Prime Coupons
  • Early Access to Lightning Deals

The value of each of these services is tough to estimate for the average user, but if you are able to drop your Netflix subscription ($99 to $120 a year), Spotify subscription ( $120 a year) or photo backup cloud subscription it can easily make Amazon Prime worth it. The key is discovering if you get enough out of Amazon to drop those services.

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Amazon includes a wide catalog of TV and movies, and even includes originals — but you miss out on Netflix originals that get a lot of attention. One upside is that Amazon Prime Video includes the option to download the videos to playback offline, like on an airplane at no extra charge. Officially there is no way to watch Netflix offline.

Is Amazon Prime Worth Buying? Explore the services Amazon Prime includes. qoppi / Shutterstock.com

Is Amazon Prime Worth Buying? Explore the services Amazon Prime includes. qoppi / Shutterstock.com

The Amazon Prime Music service is good, but we still enjoy the user experience and social features of Spotify. Google Photos offers a similar photo backup service for free.

Keep in mind that you can save roughly $12 on every new video game if you buy it on Amazon within 2 weeks of the release and get it on the release date. You need a Kindle to use the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, but it can easily save money on eBooks that cost $5 to $15 each.  The Prime coupons are valid on a wide range of items, but you need to remember to clip them before you shop.

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Early access to Lightning deals are handy, but not something to factor into your decision of buying Amazon Prime. the Prime Day Deals last year mostly disappointed, so don’t put too much into special buying events either.

Is Amazon Prime Worth Buying?

Ultimately you need to figure out how much you will use the service and if you are willing to switch to decide if Amazon Prime is worth buying.

Shoppers who buy 25 packages from Amazon in a year will break even on two-day shipping alone. The convenience of free two-day shipping also delivers freedom to avoid a trip to the local store, which is valuable, even if you only order 20 items from Amazon each year.

If you order 10-12 items from Amazon each year and like the idea of free two-day shipping — plus you are willing to use Amazon Videos or Amazon Music instead of Spotify or Netflix then Amazon Prime is worth it from a financial standpoint.